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 LJane_6
Joined: 6/10/2015
Msg: 276
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the harder it gets, the righter it isPage 12 of 13    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)

I think the main thing to realize is that when you use any belief system, you're programming yourself with a strong confirmation bias and after a while, it's hard to forget that programming.


Unless that "programming" is a connection to a supreme being. Do you think that's a possibility, or not? Being "religious" can only get you so far, but in my experience it's very limited without connecting to the source.
 2ufo
Joined: 2/28/2015
Msg: 277
the harder it gets, the righter it is
Posted: 3/4/2016 7:44:43 AM
^^^^^
Actually, it's difficult to REMEMBER programming after a while. We accept the programming as 'real'. Our beliefs becomes our reality.

Programming is almost never a connection to anything outside of yourself; it is a wall separating you from any connection - supreme being or humanity or your very own thoughts.

Programming is a way of building a 'frame' around your life; supposedly excluding the extraneous and sharpening your attention to certain details - like behaving in a way suitable to your definition of God. God as defined by... people. The God of the Holy Bible is constrained within the context of that book. "God says this. God says that. And, I can prove it because it's in the Bible"

Your experiences (and everyone's, including mine) is very limited when connecting to the source because we put a personal 'frame' of some sort around our experience. Like the Bible or certain rituals or previous experiences. We know God acts in this way or that BECAUSE the Bible or the Church or our parents/cohorts SAY those actions are caused by God. Our own personal 'God-glasses', so there's no blurriness around the edges and everything is sharply defined. Unlike real life.
 caballerosiempre
Joined: 12/5/2015
Msg: 278
the harder it gets, the righter it is
Posted: 3/4/2016 7:58:59 AM
The "belief" can certainly be comforting, whether or not that God actually exists..people experience the belief inside their own heads , minds and bodies. That is no proof of existence. Our thoughts are very powerful. whatever we believe, "exists" in a way.
 norwegianguy456
Joined: 6/11/2015
Msg: 279
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the harder it gets, the righter it is
Posted: 3/4/2016 9:56:58 AM

There is no requirement to ask forgiveness for Every. Single. Sin. (heck I'd be asking forgiveness around the clock)

Then stop masturbating so much! Take it easy! ;) Kidding, kidding. I wasn't talking about hitting up every thing to forgive. I was saying that you Require Both Belief + Asking for Forgiveness, otherwise you're not going to Paradise after death. My question was -- what if you Believe but Don't ever ask for forgiveness? Or super-rarely? Is that on the same plane with not believing? And if it's just "knowing your heart" as you say that God knows -- then that's not a requirement of asking for forgiveness. That's having some level of recognition that you're doing something wrong. Which everyone who isn't qualified to be admitted into a mental institution has, so it's not really a Requirement. :)

If a serial killer says, "God, forgive me, but I'm going to go on killing people anyway," I'm sure it would not be a sincere repentance. You can't "trick" God.

I wasn't talking about fake-forgiveness. I was saying someone who just refrains from asking for forgiveness. A serial killer could have killed and felt guilty. A year later he kills again. Kind of like a cheater. People will know something's bad, feel true guilt, but, given enough time, do it again because they can't help themselves. So you can't say a serial killer (or serial cheater or thief) is going to be always void of guilt.

But again, if it's "God knows the heart" -- and one doesn't have to audibly say anything -- then it's more about recognizing wrongs & feeling guilty than praying for forgiveness. If you disagree and require a (silent or aloud) prayer for forgiveness as a Requirement, then again -- a believe who does but has done tons of bad things gets to go to Paradise, where the other believer who doesn't but is top-of-the-class in good deeds and lack of bad deeds doesn't.

Yes, we believe he is all-powerful. So, he can prevent them, but he doesn't. I agree that one is a b*tch to understand.

The real b*tch to understand is that he's also All-Loving. If we're just ants on an ant hill, like we are in comparison to the universe, then it's not a shocker a hypothetical 1 Supreme God wouldn't exactly be hopping in. But if he's All-Loving to us, that's where it all falls apart.

But to many, it's not about knowing/realizing what Is -- it's about having a sense of belonging here in life, as popularity = truth to many. And to also have a sense that when you die, all is not done. A sense of being looked after and taken care of. An emotional crutch in life.
 Coma_White
Joined: 9/15/2013
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the harder it gets, the righter it is
Posted: 3/4/2016 10:26:00 AM

Unless that "programming" is a connection to a supreme being. Do you think that's a possibility, or not? Being "religious" can only get you so far, but in my experience it's very limited without connecting to the source.


What I mean by programming is that it's easy to slip into a mode of thinking where you have extreme confirmation bias like a psychic that starts believing their own baloney. They do cold readings for people so long that they start thinking "hey, maybe I really am psychic." It's important to remember that believing in something doesn't make it true. "Connecting to a supreme being" is just rherotic. There are many supreme beings such as Allah, El, Jehovah, Bumba, Zeus, etc. Scientifically, it's way harder to explain a "supreme being" coming into existence out of nothing than it is to explain the universe. If there's one thing we've learned, it's that we can't always trust our own senses and beliefs.
 xlr8ingme
Joined: 11/29/2015
Msg: 281
the harder it gets, the righter it is
Posted: 3/6/2016 1:19:47 AM
^ This is the entire point to this thread. Everyone has the right to be themselves, and look for exactly what they wish for. Realism is another subject entirely.
 LJane_6
Joined: 6/10/2015
Msg: 282
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Posted: 3/6/2016 3:22:36 AM

But again, if it's "God knows the heart" -- and one doesn't have to audibly say anything -- then it's more about recognizing wrongs & feeling guilty than praying for forgiveness. If you disagree and require a (silent or aloud) prayer for forgiveness as a Requirement, then again -- a believe who does but has done tons of bad things gets to go to Paradise, where the other believer who doesn't but is top-of-the-class in good deeds and lack of bad deeds doesn't.


a few more thoughts (remember, i'm going to respond based on what i understand from a christian perspective)...i think forgiveness is meant to set us free from guilt. in order to receive forgiveness, though, one must recognize and admit they have sinned, and feel some remorse over that. it says he removes our sins...the central focus of christianity is Jesus' death on the cross, which he did to "pay for" the sins of mankind. but yes, it requires asking. it kind of goes back to my earlier comments about free will. God doesn't force himself on people - if that were the case, he might as well have created robots. He does make himself known to people in different ways (gives them awareness/an invitation) and offers forgiveness. it is their choice whether to accept it or not. i think how the "asking" is done can vary, though. for instance, a person may have an awareness and acceptance of God without saying a concrete prayer, but still make that decision in their heart. and i don't think God measures in terms of how many good/bad deeds a person has done. i think it's more about our motivation and how we choose to live - with god or without. with god, a person should naturally want to do "good," and "evil" will become more repulsive to them, because the spirit of god is at work within them, not just because they want to earn some reward. as for the "good" person who has never asked forgiveness...well, i'm not god, so i'm really not justified to say who is saved and who isn't. the way i understand it is that you must acknowledge and accept god to be saved...so i'd say that the only people who wouldn't be "saved" are those who reject god, and choosing to ignore him is rejection by default.


But to many, it's not about knowing/realizing what Is -- it's...A sense of being looked after and taken care of. An emotional crutch in life.


to me, it's both of those things. yes, it's a crutch, and i admit i need one. but, based on my experience, God is also my reality. people can and will disagree with me on this, but the presence of god is not something i can tangibly prove to someone who claims to never have experienced it.


Scientifically, it's way harder to explain a "supreme being" coming into existence out of nothing than it is to explain the universe. If there's one thing we've learned, it's that we can't always trust our own senses and beliefs.


logically, it may be harder to explain, but neither theism nor atheism can be proven with absolute certainty; both require some degree of faith.
 2ufo
Joined: 2/28/2015
Msg: 283
the harder it gets, the righter it is
Posted: 3/6/2016 8:34:04 AM

God is also my reality. people can and will disagree with me on this, but the presence of god is not something i can tangibly prove to someone who claims to never have experienced it.


No, the presence of god as defined by your Biblical belief. And, to me, that is the arrogance of almost all religions. - to define god and god's (or gods') likes and dislikes. (God dislikes sinners so - we must drive them out of town/burn them at the stake/destroy their homes and families/etc.). Or 'god says this and science says that so we must burn books and not let our children learn anything we don't teach them'.

Anyway, I'm not disagreeing that
God is also my reality
... since I very obviously cannot walk in your shoes (unless you wear a size 8 - hahaha - ok, bad joke). I'm disagreeing with your stand that you can only date a man with the same frame of reference that you chose to believe. I'm disgusted with the OP's implications in her opening post that a man wanting sex before marriage isn't a 'real' Christian. Certainly not by her beliefs, but she seems unwilling to look outside her personal 'frame' of what Christianity is; she seems to think she is 'better' because she follows 'holy tenants [sic]'. When the 'frame' is that small, it can't hold much inside it; it doesn't permit many choices that would be perfectly valid and acceptable.

I believe that most people have had, at the very least, a small epiphany into the nature of that which we call god or the source of all being. But, when the experience doesn't fit the classical definitions of God's appearance, it is discounted - particularly by people inculcated by religious dogma. Many people, so thoroughly trained in one religion, don't believe their own experiences because it doesn't fit what they know.

It's not that old saying, 'seeing is believing' (or 'experience leads to belief') but rather 'believing is seeing' (what is believed is experienced).
 Coma_White
Joined: 9/15/2013
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the harder it gets, the righter it is
Posted: 3/6/2016 2:04:27 PM

logically, it may be harder to explain, but neither theism nor atheism can be proven with absolute certainty; both require some degree of faith.


Only claims of a supernatural being require evidence. Atheism requires no evidence because it doesn't make a claim, it's simply the absence of superstition. For example, if I believe in Bigfoot and claim he exists, I would be required to provide evidence of his existence. If you're non believer in Bigfoot, I can't call you to prove a negative and prove he doesn't exist because I have the burden of proof, not you. Therefore, atheism requires no faith.
 Coma_White
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Posted: 3/6/2016 7:56:31 PM

Atheism does make claims, one being that reason is supreme. Therefore it requires evidence - and faith.


It doesn't make that claim, but even if it did, there is evidence that reason and logic are the best tools for exploring and understanding the universe we live in. We would not have the technology we're using to communicate with right now if it wasn't for people using reason to developing binary computers and a way to transmit data via modulation.
Atheism makes no claim that reason is supreme, reason is a tool you use to present evidence for positive claims. You're just using rhetoric to spin things in a way that makes it seem that atheism makes some claim when it doesn't.
 Coma_White
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Posted: 3/6/2016 9:40:42 PM

I'm using rhetoric? The "supremacy of reason"(among other things) is straight from the American Atheists website and can probably be found on every other atheist website as well and was a guiding principle of the French Revolution.


You said that atheism was guilty of making claims such as "reason is supreme." Atheism is simply the lack of belief in supernatural gods, but reason is what leads people to lack belief in the supernatural. It's not a claim made by atheism but a shared quality among atheists.



Nobody is disputing the role of reason and logic in understanding the natural world and universe. Saying it again, the atheist believes reason is supreme whereas the Christian holds a more muted view of human reason.


I don't necessarily believe that because every religious person uses reason and logic in some capacity and relies on it. When they drive to work, they assume and come to logical conclusions the lead them to think the other drivers will stay in their lane instead of driving into them. It's almost impossible to operate in society without logic and reason. I would argue that religious belief requires suspending logic and reason because it asks you to believe in things that have no been proven true. What I'm arguing against is that you need faith to be an atheist.
 Maleman999
Joined: 2/14/2010
Msg: 287
the harder it gets, the righter it is
Posted: 3/7/2016 8:03:44 AM

The supremacy of reason is a basic tenet of the atheist creed. It's up to them to defend it.


Nobody needs to defend their beliefs or non-beliefs in anything. Some people believe there is life on other planets, and we just haven't closely explored enough planets yet to find that life, or that they haven't discovered us yet. It's not up to me or anyone else to ask them to defend their belief. When was the last time a person in an atheist organization knocked on your door and and asked you to stop believing, and gave you literature spouting their beliefs in the non-existence of any god figure?
 norwegianguy456
Joined: 6/11/2015
Msg: 288
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the harder it gets, the righter it is
Posted: 3/7/2016 8:32:12 AM

i think forgiveness is meant to set us free from guilt. in order to receive forgiveness, though, one must recognize and admit they have sinned, and feel some remorse over that.

I think the goal isn't to free us from guilt so much, but it's a by-product to at least alleviate it. It's more NOT recognizing wrongs, and burying it inside will end up letting guilt marinate (although for some it doesn't and they continue to bad things). So forgiveness is recognition of one's wrongs, which is the first step to being a better person. Whether they know they're talking to really themselves, or are asking a person for forgiveness, it brings it to the center of the room so they'll be better position not to repeat. Anyway, point is, if someone Never goes thru he motions (internally or externally) to ask *GOD* for forgiveness -- they're going to burn in hell, while the a-hole who physically hurts or kills people periodically over time and continues to do it, struggles with it, but asks God for forgiveness, does? Yes or no? If that's not necessarily true pertaining to the never-asking-God-specifically-for-forgiveness is going to burn in hell -- then my point is, it shouldn't be a Qualifier, is all. :)

i think it's more about our motivation and how we choose to live - with god or without.

So it isn't about being a good person or a good Samaritan, but whether we accept Jesus H Christ in our hearts in life (which, to be fair, if done so, we will be a better person to some degree IF we were otherwise a bad person)?

so i'd say that the only people who wouldn't be "saved" are those who reject god, and choosing to ignore him is rejection by default.

You reject just as many gods as I do, except 1. :) Now, if you mean general route regardless of religion, as one's view or religion just being a "vessel" to God that can't be known, I would see that as a more reasonable viewpoint. But even then still, one may not REJECT "God", this invisible being or so hidden that it's hard to put the pieces together to say for sure -- but they may realize this "God" may or may not exist exactly, or it's beyond them... and one doesn't need a literal belief in a God to know right from wrong and to be civil.

to me, it's both of those things. yes, it's a crutch, and i admit i need one. but, based on my experience, God is also my reality. people can and will disagree with me on this, but the presence of god is not something i can tangibly prove to someone who claims to never have experienced it.

It's your own internal experiences, influenced and shaped by religion/religious community that gives you a sense of purpose. It's nothing magical, but like many things in life, like falling in love, or even having a crush -- it can feel that way. Many people believing in another God and another Conflicting story about him is going to feel the same way you do. Some even stronger than you do, some weaker. Your 'special' feeling is nothing special, is my point.

but neither theism nor atheism can be proven with absolute certainty; both require some degree of faith.

No, they don't. A-theism = non-theism, a lack of belief. You could make the argument that Anti-theism may require some level of faith (a belief Against theism). But one merely not having the asserted belief that there IS a God isn't riding on faith any more than one not holding the belief that there are intelligent aliens within a mere 100 light years away, right now.

The theist and an anti-theist has the burden of proof -- a non-theist doesn't. The ball's not in their court.
 Coma_White
Joined: 9/15/2013
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Posted: 3/7/2016 12:13:46 PM

Okay, using your own words, you said "reason is what leads people to lack belief in the supernatural." But reasoning is a process which involves beliefs and propositions, and which therefore necessarily involves claims. It is up to the individual to support those claims. Using the phrase "shared quality" gets us nowhere.


No, it doesn't involve claims, it involves logic and common sense. People who don't believe in Bigfoot, fairies, unicorns, etc have a lack of belief because the chance of those things existing is infinitesimal. Trying to argue that atheism is a belief is like arguing not collecting stamps is a hobby.



proposition - a claim - that needs testing. But how can reason be used to determine that reason ITSELF is supreme? Once again, I'm not putting words in the atheists' mouths. The supremacy of reason is a basic tenet of the atheist creed. It's up to them to defend it.


There is no creed or tenet in atheism just like there are no rules for not belonging to a stamp club or bowling league. You've just created a contradiction for yourself. You're using reason to argue that reason can't be used to determine that reason itself is supreme. The bottom line is that atheism makes no claims and has no burden of proof to support. You can't argue anything without reason. So you're back to where you started, holding an empty sack.
 call_me_tater
Joined: 12/30/2014
Msg: 290
the harder it gets, the righter it is
Posted: 3/9/2016 11:32:17 AM

I'm not putting words in the atheists' mouths. The supremacy of reason is a basic tenet of the atheist creed.

There is no "Atheist Creed", no clubs, no meetings, no buildings in which to celebrate.
You are giving an organized religion comparison when there is none.
There is no need to prove or disprove in atheism...it is not a belief system.
Educate yourself on what it is instead of guessing or relying on a theist definition.
 caballerosiempre
Joined: 12/5/2015
Msg: 291
the harder it gets, the righter it is
Posted: 3/9/2016 3:41:15 PM
Waaahhh, I'm a Christian so life is so hard, "they" pick on me, and are all mean to me.:(
 norwegianguy456
Joined: 6/11/2015
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Posted: 3/9/2016 8:43:10 PM

If the atheist "unreservedly" accepts the supremacy of reason, how did they get to that point?

Of course there's a supremacy of reason. You're going to sacrifice that for what -- being unreasonable? You're going to toss out the high gift of reason that separates us from all other animals, that the universe/god/what-have-you gave us -- and toss that out to follow the religion of the day so you don't feel cosmically lonely? A sense of belongingness?

If there is a God who makes judgments, and is a just God, he/it would surely value intellectual honesty (reason) over loyalty like a dog to a religious or non-religious ideology. It's not a blind acceptance. It's not a hypothesis. It's being reasonable VS unreasonable to arrive at sound conclusions. You disagree with that notion?


Its not my business if someone is an atheist or not, but they should at least be intellectually honest about it.

Intellectual honesty is going by reason, and not being unreasonable for the sake of loyalty to an ideology.
 Coma_White
Joined: 9/15/2013
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Posted: 3/9/2016 8:53:59 PM

The above quote is from the American Atheist website. If the atheist "unreservedly" accepts the supremacy of reason, how did they get to that point? Do they blindly accept the supremacy of reason or did their active mind formulate a position which lead them to their "mental attitude?" If the atheist blindly accepts the supremacy of reason, it runs counter to their scientific approach. But if they reached it through some form of logic, then decisions had to be made. Its not my business if someone is an atheist or not, but they should at least be intellectually honest about it.


They are being intellectually honest about it. You can't argue anything without reason. That's what arguing is. Words like "prove" have no meaning outside of the context of reason.
 HalftimeDad
Joined: 5/29/2005
Msg: 294
the harder it gets, the righter it is
Posted: 3/9/2016 8:57:47 PM
There's nothing "blind" about using reason to understand the world. It's the only way to do it. Unless you're just willing to take someone else's word for it, I guess.

I kind of think this has been hashed out thousands of years ago.
 LJane_6
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the harder it gets, the righter it is
Posted: 3/14/2016 1:48:38 AM

Only claims of a supernatural being require evidence. Atheism requires no evidence because it doesn't make a claim, it's simply the absence of superstition...Therefore, atheism requires no faith.


The way I see it, atheism is a belief that there is no God. Theism is belief that there is a god (or gods). Since neither belief can be tangibly "proven," both require some degree of faith. I would say that agnosticism is the one position that makes no claims, as it doesn't commit to either side.


No, the presence of god as defined by your Biblical belief. And, to me, that is the arrogance of almost all religions. - to define god and god's (or gods') likes and dislikes.


When it comes to faith, believing intellectually and experiening God's presence are two different things. The former requires a conscious decision, and the latter involves emotions. Yes, most believe that to be a Christian means to define God by the bible (as we see it as the word of God). However, there are other ways to define and experience God (through nature, music, relationships, etc). Lately I've been leaning more toward the belief that people can experience God in different ways (as @Coma_White mentioned, there are so many religions that are equally convinced of the reality of their "God.") I do believe there is a God, and I believe he lived in human form as Jesus. But it makes sense to me that people could connect with God in other ways, as an all-powerful God could take on different forms and interpretations.


(God dislikes sinners so - we must drive them out of town/burn them at the stake/destroy their homes and families/etc.). Or 'god says this and science says that so we must burn books and not let our children learn anything we don't teach them'.


There are certainly many examples in history of religious extremism that resulted in evil and violent acts. I do not believe this is the nature of God. I do believe that people take religious writings out of context and twist them around to further their own agendas. Followers can get caught up in these "religions" and brainwashed by them.


It's not that old saying, 'seeing is believing' (or 'experience leads to belief') but rather 'believing is seeing' (what is believed is experienced).


As for whether that applies to myself, it's hard to be objective about your own experiences, or to defend them to others as reality. The God I believe in is a God of love. That's the best way I can summarize it. The bible is confusing to me. I've read many powerful truths in it, but also struggle with parts of it.
 Coma_White
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Posted: 3/14/2016 1:59:35 AM

The way I see it, atheism is a belief that there is no God. Theism is belief that there is a god (or gods). Since neither belief can be tangibly "proven," both require some degree of faith. I would say that agnosticism is the one position that makes no claims, as it doesn't commit to either side.


Atheism can't be a belief because a belief requires a suspension of logic and reason. Religion makes a positive claim that God exists while atheism doesn't make claims, it's just a way of describing people that don't follow that. Most people are atheists toward something like the Easter Bunny, Bigfoot, unicorns, fairies, Zeus, Apollo, etc. If a person or religion makes the claim that something exists, they have the burden of proof, the people that don't believe have no responsibility to prove it's false. I'm not an atheist myself, but I usually pick "atheist" or "agnostic" when I'm given the option because I don't follow religion and my concept of God is very abstract. I can't make claims that my idea of God can be proven though because it's just an idea without evidence.
 LJane_6
Joined: 6/10/2015
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Posted: 3/14/2016 4:03:02 AM
If you have a concept of God, but aren't sure of his existence, I'd say you are an agnostic, not an atheist. Of course, we seem to have a different idea of what that word means. So, I'm just curious...I know we are taking the thread way off topic, but if you don't mind expanding on it, what is your idea of God (a person, creator, force)? and is it based on an experience you've had, something you've seen/heard/read, or just a sense of who God is?
 Maleman999
Joined: 2/14/2010
Msg: 298
the harder it gets, the righter it is
Posted: 3/14/2016 8:37:49 AM
Getting off track a bit, but relating to the belief in something that's not tangible or visible: I was watching a reality TV show about a guy who is able to channel the dead and relay messages to the living. Unless it was staged, it seemed pretty realistic and he was able to tell people details about their personal lives that only the person involved would know, since supposedly, the medium and the other person have never met before.

With that being said, do most religious people believe that when a person dies, their spirit is still around, and some people could possess the skills to communicate with them? Or is communicating with the dead unrelated to religion?
 Butterchickenchuck
Joined: 9/18/2015
Msg: 299
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Posted: 3/14/2016 8:43:53 AM
According to Anita Moorjani, a woman who had a Near Death Experience, " God " isn't a being but a " state of being ".


https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/17267641-dying-to-be-me-my-journey-from-cancer-to-near-death-to-true-healing


“Religion is just a path for finding truth: Religion is not truth. It is just a path. And different people follow different paths.”
 Chromis1
Joined: 9/9/2015
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Posted: 3/14/2016 8:53:28 AM

With that being said, do most religious people believe that when a person dies, their spirit is still around, and some people could possess the skills to communicate with them? Or is communicating with the dead unrelated to religion?


I don't believe that's a necessary tenet of most religions. But since many religions are underpinned by a belief in the afterlife, many people would like to believe that their dearly departed are still "around". I'm skeptical. I dream about my dead wife almost every night and I know plenty of folks who believe she's "talking" to me. I don't believe this. I think my subconscious is trying to heal my mind.

To answer your question - communicating with the dead seems to be mostly unrelated to core religious beliefs. Fatima may be one of the rare exceptions - where seeing into the other side has been put forth as proof that core beliefs are sound. But then again, Mary never really was "dead". Splitting hairs.
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